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Saudi Arabia to Install Cranes at Three Yemeni Ports | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A pro-government fighter at Yemen’s Red Sea port of Mokha. Saleh Al Obeidi / AFP / February 9, 2017

New York- Saudi Arabia has said it is installing four cranes at three ports in Yemen to speed up the delivery of humanitarian aid and was ready to do the same at the key insurgent-held port of Hodeidah if it was placed under the control of a neutral party.

The cranes are being installed at the ports of Aden, Mukalla and Mokha, the Saudi mission to the United Nations said on Thursday. All three southern ports are under the control of the military coalition supporting Yemen’s internationally recognized government.

The coalition stressed its willingness to assist the Yemeni government in restoring control over the country and providing alternative tracks for the entry of food and medicine supplies.

The United Nations has sought to avert attacks on Hodeidah, a vital Red Sea aid delivery point for millions of Yemenis in danger of slipping into famine. Around 80 percent of Yemen’s food imports arrive via Hodeidah, revealed a report by Reuters.

“Saudi Arabia is deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation,” the Saudi mission said.

“We have always supported every effort to ensure that the people of Yemen receive the aid and relief they require, especially in times of crisis,” added the statement.

The coalition accuses Houthis of using the port to smuggle weapons and it called for deploying UN observers there. The UN also suggested that Hodeidah be placed under the control of a third party to facilitate humanitarian aid access and protect the port from war effects.

“The coalition reaffirms its readiness to facilitate the immediate installation of cranes at the port of Hodeidah, in line with secretary general special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed’s latest proposals,” the statement added.